Re: Some of the more ‘unusaul’ applications that have gone through the planning process!
For those of you shocked and/or laughing at the idea of a 40m monument dead-bang in the centre of Cork city – believe, crazier ideas have been through the planning process in Cork before. In comparison, the idea of a monument is far more believable than some of these beauties.
First there is Sean Meehan’s plans for a 3-storey multi-storey car park with commercial units at Grenville Place (adjacent to the Mercy University Hospital and NMRC). Fine you may say – however, this development isn’t so normal when you consider the fact that it is to be built on stilts over a bend in the River Lee – with a vehicular access bridge linking it to the quays. Even more bizarre, the original proposal was for the car-park to be built under the river! A planning decision is due soon on the plans. The architect is John Paul Lennon – an architect linked to an even more bizarre proposal…
…In 1998, an application was lodged with the then Cork Corporation for the construction of for a shopping arcade/mall and 48 apartments over 5-storeys in Cork city centre. The thing was that the plan was to build the complex on a bridge spanning the Lee from Patrick’s Quay to Anderson’s Quay (the Bus Station). Cork’s own Rialto – only bigger eh? The application was lodged under the name Maria Lennon, John Paul’s wife. It was ultimately refused.
But my personal favourite, an unknown developer, devised plans for a 40-storey skyscraper along the Cork Docklands back in 1999. The proposal was to see a 6-storey commercial, retail and leisure facility from the basement to 5 floor. Offices from the 6 to 20th floor, a hotel from 21th to 30th floor, apartments 31 to 39th floor and a 40th storey 360 degree restaurant and cocktail bar. A public platform and ‘cocktail garden’ were proposed for the roof-top – on which also was found a search-light (reminiscent of a lighthouse [and based on the Transco Tower in Houston, TX] TO reflect Cork’s maritime history). Primitive drawings were made by an US-based architect – no formal application was ever filed, or developer revealed. But if I ever get the drawings, I’ll put them up someday.
After all that, a monument doesn’t seem too bad. But I do agree with theblimp, in that we need to be focused on pull-factors for tourism – Cork has SO much unrealised potential and its a shame. A monument may be ‘pretty’ – but unless it is something truly exceptional, it’s not going to make Cork the tourist haven it dreams of being.